Benita Valente Biography (Wikipedia)
Benita Valente (born October 19, 1934), is a distinguished American soprano whose long career has encompassed the operatic stage as well as performance of lieder, chamber music and oratorio. She is especially lauded for her interpretations of Mozart and Handel, but she also excelled in certain Verdi roles. The New York Times once referred to her "as gifted a singer as we have today, worldwide."
Benita Valente was born in Delano, California. She studied voice at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara with Lotte Lehmann and Martial Singher. She later studied with Margaret Harshaw at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she graduated in 1960. That same year she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and made her formal debut at the Marlboro Music Festival with famed pianist Rudolf Serkin, among others. Early in her career, she appeared regularly at the Freiberg Opera in Germany. She made a notable debut with the Metropolitan Opera on Sept. 22, 1973 singing Pamina in The Magic Flute. A regular at the Met, her many roles included Gilda in Rigoletto, Nanetta in Falstaff, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Ilia in Idomeneo and Almirena in Rinaldo.
Benita Valente Tracks